Monthly Archives: April 2016

David Duchovny in NYC for a book signing on April 12, 2016

9ae6c414bf38184d747b360226b51659X-Files and Californication fans were in for a treat on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Barnes and Noble in New York City hosted film and television actor David Duchovny to discuss his new book entitled “Bucky F**king Dent.”

Duchovny started the talk explaining what the title meant and event shared with the few people in the room who did not know, who Bucky Dent was and why he used that name for the book. Duchovny spoke to a packed house and even answered questions from the attendees.

Duchovny is one a few actors in Hollywood who holds an advanced degree and this was very evident as he discussed the writing process. This is his second published book and it based on a fictional character by the name of Ted Fullilove. The book focuses on the relationship of a father and son through their mutual love of baseball.

Of course the evening would not be complete without there being questions about one of Duchovny’s most notable roles as Fox Mulder on the hit TV series The X Files. January 2016 welcomed the return of the show with a 6 series event and audience members wanted to know if there would be another opportunity see this believed character. Duchovny simply stated “I am not opposed to it, but it depends on schedule.” This seemed to enough for the diehard fans attending the signing.

Before ending the talk for the night, Duchovny read a few excerpts from the book, then was on hand to personally sign all book purchased. For more information on David Duchovny and his book, visit the Barnes and Noble website. Fans can also keep up with David on social media, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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2011 X Factor winner Melanie Amaro is back with new music and a new attitude

96dbd477440df4fcad95415dd2bab629It’s been a few years since this young music phenomenon came to our attention, but fear not, she is here once again to let us know for sure that the X Factor judges were not wrong with choosing her as the grand prize winner for the 2011 music competition.

After a few years reflection and time to regroup by getting to know herself, this twenty-four year old young lady is coming back with a bang. She has new music and a new sense of self like none before. Fans who have been waiting will be in store for so much more than they ever thought and that’s only part of the good news.

On, Thursday, April 14, 2016 in NYC, Melanie Amaro sat down to discuss some of her upcoming plans as she is set to release her new EP entitled “Nice Nasty.” No longer signed to a record label, Melanie recently collaborated with rapper Fabolous on the song entitled “Dust” and is planning to release another song called “The One” along with a cool new video. Although there is no official date yet set on the release of the video, the plan is to have it released before the summer 2016.

During the interview, Melanie Amaro, mentioned being excited to see that her fans were still rooting for her. This was great news for her to hear as she prepares for being ready to step back into the spotlight. This appears to be just wanted she needed because Melanie even admitted that “she was shocked and overwhelmed” that she won the 2011 X Factor title and how important it was for her to take some time off to regroup for such a life changing experience. Now, she is back to make music and reconnect with her fans. When asked how she came up with the name of the album “Nice Nasty”, she stated that that there were “two sides to her personality, but is totally leaving it to her fans to interpret.”

Although, upcoming song entitled “The One” was written for Melanie, she did have a hand in creating it and the theme for the new music video. She also mentioned that she loves making music and being in the studio. Since music is number one in her life, it is important for her songs to be emotional and this is very evident in current her music. Another personal revelation she shared and one that people might not know is that, Melanie is also quite versatile with a few other talents. She loves to cook and even likes doing hair and makeup.

Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, she is hoping to tour soon to promote the new EP. One other bit of news she shared was that she is pitching a very unique idea for a reality show. The concept is very positive and will definitely inspire others that might be on a similar musical journey.

After speaking with this talented young lady, it is apparent that she is here to stay and with the passage of just a little time, it seems as though she has only gotten better. For more information on Melanie Amaro, check her out on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vevo.

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The Haitian Polo Documentary Screening on April 11, 2016

41688219baa419e23017dac81feca8ccHip Hop culture in New York City has affected many generations of youth. From the beginning of rap music mixed with fashion, the urban culture has always been very creative in taking mainstream styles of clothing and somehow making it their own.

On Monday, April 11, 2016 at the Tribeca Screening Room, filmmaker DJ Scripz held a press screening for this film entitled The Haitian Polo documentary. The Haitian Polo documentary covers the cross of hip hop culture and fashion so perfectly. In addition, this is a documentary film base on the young Haitian immigrants and their experience in Brooklyn, New York during the 80’s and 90’s. The story covers their unique experience in regards to acculturating and assimilating into the mainstream culture. This also shows how passionate some of the Haitian youth were with the Polo brand specifically.

Within the film, there are interviews featuring Thirstin Howl The 3rd known to many as the Original Lo-Life Founder and Hip Hop Artist, Sadat X From 90’s Hip Hop Group Brand Nubian, and Moses “Rafe” Vernau of the hit web series Money & Violence!!

The film is presented by Director Dj_Scripz, and Cubed Effect, LLC as Producer. The director DJ Scripz also serves as the narrator for the documentary. The film offers and unique flavor of hip hop nostalgia as well as a new perspective on what it was to be Haitian in the United States during this time in history. The film is both stimulating and informative and can offer a great education for all people.

For more information on the documentary, follow the story on social media . Follow the movement on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Ghost Brothers comes to Destination America on April 15, 2016

3ab0b730c281cf36973be43f2f26223fReality shows are sometimes full of quite a bit of drama, but there are a few that are programmed for fun and even education. Now, while there are shows about ghost hunting, there is one about the hit television screens that is like no other. It is called Ghost Brothers and it has a very interesting and unique take on ghost hunting and the paranormal.

On April 13, 2016, in New York, Destination America hosted an exclusive press screening at the historic Algonquian Hotel for their latest show “Ghost Brothers,” a six-part docu-series featuring TV’s first African-American paranormal investigation team. The cast members Juwan Mass, Dalen Spratt and Marcus Harvey were on hand for a brief Q&A, which was moderated by marketing maven Shante Bacon. Following the Q&A, the cast conducted one-on-one interviews with attending press.

The story of “Ghost Brothers” follows three best friends– all raised in religious households – who take their healthy curiosity and passion for the paranormal to the next level. During the series, the trio tour a series of haunted houses throughout the U.S. to uncover the history and the truth behind the local tales. The series mixes in a blend of history, education with a little humor as the three men go about their quest to discover more about life after death and the supernatural and their specific take on this subject is like no other.

The first episode is set to air on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 10pm EST on Destination America. For more information on the show and the cast, visit the Destination America website. Also, there will ve updates and photos on Facebook and Twitter. The Ghost Brothers truly gives audience a new look on the ghost hunting.

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Author Salman Rushdie & Rob Milazzo at the SVA Theatre on April 9, 2016

280b37144c35332098b156b837e6d484On Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8pm The Modern School of Film’s founder Robert Milazzo hosted the celebrated author Salman Rushdie, the creator of twelve internationally esteemed novels, including MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN (Booker Prize), SHAME and THE SATANIC VERSES – as he revisits three films that have inspired his journey as a transcendent literary force.

Rob Milazzo addressed the crowd by sharing what programs SVA Theatre and The Modern School of Film has during the year. This program is one of the many that venues such as these have each. Upon the conclusion of the address from Milazzo, he gave an abbreviated introduction for Salman Rushdie.

Upon taking the stage, it was clear that the two film lovers had equal admiration for one another. Right away, Milazzo asked Rushdie about some of his work then they naturally transitioned in to discussing some of the films he admired. During the talk, Mr. Rushdie discussed the films Satyajit Ray’s PATHER PANCHALI, Spielberg’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

For the IN: PICTURES, the audience were treated to clips of each film, along with an in – depth discourse with Mr. Rushdie on how cinema has shaped both his work and the continued legacy of this master of genre, form, and modern storytelling. The audience which was full of filmmakers seemed to be fully engaged as well as a bit starstruck from the work and advice given by Rushdie in his responses and reviews of certain films.

Although, the talk ran a bit late, the audience did not seem to mind since there were a few questions that followed. The School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world.

For more information on the SVA Theatre visit, their website. In addition, the website for the Modern School of Film‘s website is also a great resource for similar programs.

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Hi-Arts & National Black Theatre announce the production of ‘Blood at the Root’

4a45bac342f139f3ea87e3969892b99bGood theater in New York is something many people expect, but theater in Harlem goes as deep as the roots from when Harlem became such an influential neighborhood in New York City. On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, The National Black Theatre presented the cast of a much talked about upcoming show entitled “Blood at the Root.” The evening moderator for the event was Keith Josef Adkins, the artistic director of The New Black Fest and he discussed the play with the actors.

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Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley joins the cast of The Color Purple

4e586697289503979d49eb67cdb8c1c9There is a good news, but also a little bit of sad news so perhaps it is bittersweet news for theater goers. Beginning on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley will assume the role of Shug Avery in John Doyle’s critically acclaimed production of the Broadway musical, The Color Purple.

This is Ms. Headley’s first appearance on Broadway since winning the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her performance in Aida. Grammy and Academy Award winnerJennifer Hudson, who made her critically-acclaimed Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery, will complete her six month run on Sunday, May 8 and will give her final performance that afternoon.

“These last six months have been nothing short of a dream come true. I have found an extended family in the cast of The Color Purple that will go far beyond my commitment on-stage,” said Jennifer Hudson. “I owe so much to the Broadway community and our audiences. My heart is full as I say to Broadway,‘until we meet again.”

“I was privileged to see John Doyle’s production of The Color Purple and was completely moved and bowled over by his beautiful work and this brilliant company,” said Ms. Headley. “I am humbled to be joining this immensely talented group of actors. I can’t think of a better way to return to the Broadway stage than in this extraordinary show, helping to tell Alice Walker’s story.”

Heather Headley made her Broadway debut in the role of Nala in the original Broadway cast of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning musical, The Lion King. While still in The Lion King, Heather was asked to audition for the title role in the writing duo’s next Broadway venture together, Aida. Her portrayal of the Nubian princess Aida won her the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Heather continued her musical success on the pop charts with her 2002 debut album. The opening title single became Heather’s first #1 hit, topping the dance and R&B charts and earning her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In addition to her independent release of Only One In The World, in 2009 Heather released Audience of One, for which she won a Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. In 2012, she made her London stage debut in the West End production of The Bodyguard, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.

The show has received rave reviews with Hudson in the role and Shug Avery and will continue as Headley assumes the role in May 2016. For more information, photos, and videos of the production please visit the Color Purple website.

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Beverly Bond partners with Google’s Made with Code for Girls Rock Tech

6d4fc7ce7359af40ca134e4b3c2f4a45BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ founder/CEO and creator/executive producer of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards on BET, Beverly Bond, teamed up with Google to continue her mission to empower the next generation of girls.

On Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 10 a.m., the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Day of Service, Beverly Bond and Google’s MADE WITH CODE co-produced the inaugural GIRLS ROCK! TECH Summit at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. The program invited 100 girls ages 13-17 from Newark, NJ and the surrounding tri-state to participate in fun and engaging coding workshops lead by MADE WITH CODE, two STEAM-career panels curated by BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and several other surprise guest speakers.

In attendance was an extraordinary group of leaders in public policy, computer-science and technology including: Senior Policy Advisor of the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, Dr. Knotakie Ford; Chief Digital Officer of the US Department of Education Lisa Gelobter; Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Lauren Mims, spoke during the event in an effort especially curated to motivate and mobilize girls to consider computer science, coding and other STEAM fields as viable and reachable career paths. Also on hand was actress and education advocate, Tatyana Ali to discuss her association with the program. The GIRLS ROCK! TECH Summit guest speakers and program ambassadors offered motivational words and reflections on the unique ties between art and technology in their respective careers.

“I launched GIRLS ROCK! TECH because I believe it’s critical to give girls the tools needed to excel in the growing fields of coding and computational sciences,” said BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder, Beverly Bond. “The inaugural GIRLS ROCK! TECH summit is designed to inspire girls of color to become leaders in this sector! I chose to focus on STEAM, because these fields offer girls the liberating and important opportunity to create, innovate and implement products or solutions that positively impact the world; but it is also a booming job market that needs to be diversified. Women and girls absolutely need to have a seat at the table when it comes to the tech revolution!”

Other participating partners included: the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, the City of Newark and the New Jersey Performance Arts Center. Other dynamos who joined the GIRLS ROCK! TECH summit were the American Association for the Advancement of Science Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation Dr. Quincy Brown; Computer Scientist, Technical Fields Designer and Professor (UCLA and Howard University) Dr. Jamika Burge; 2015 BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Making a Difference Girl, App Developer and Coder Kaya Thomas, 2016 BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Making a Difference Girl and MADE WITH CODE mentor Maya Penn. .

“Coding is the new literacy, and we believe Black women and girls should be at the forefront of innovation,” said Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Head of Google’s Black Community Engagement. “As Google drives inclusion as a company and as an industry, it’s important for girls to be inspired by a diverse group of women already coding today and it is in that spirit that we partner with Black Girls Rock! to bring Google’s Made with Code program to Newark!”

The 1st GIRLS ROCK! TECH summit was a success and many of the young girls in attendance left for the day with quite a bit more education and inspiration. For additional information about the GIRLS ROCK! TECH Summit please visit the Black Girls Rock website.

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Apollo Walk of Fame induction of Jazz icon Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker


The official induction of Charlie “Bird” Parker into the Apollo Walk of Fame.

In anticipation of the New York premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD (April 1st and 3rd), a co-production between the Apollo Theater and Opera Philadelphia, the Theater celebrates its jazz legacy by inducting the iconic and influential jazz saxophonist, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, into the Apollo Walk of Fame.

The ceremony included presentations recognizing Charlie Parker and photo ops with Apollo President & CEO, Jonelle Procope; legendary instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator Jimmy Heath, who played with Charlie Parker; Opera Philadelphia President and General Director, David B. Devan, opera star Lawrence Brownlee, who plays Charlie Parker, and quite a few other guests.

The Apollo’s Walk of Fame honors legendary performers who have helped shape the American music landscape and built the Apollo into one of the world’s most enduring cultural institutions. The plaques are normally installed underneath the Apollo’s marquee on 125th street, alongside plaques for numerous Apollo legends including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, and Patti Labelle, among others.

e5f93e729ad1bb12b22e2be7d85de4f7Parker had a rich history with the Apollo and performed at the Theater many times, beginning in 1943 with the Earl Hines Orchestra— which included Dizzy Gillespie. During his many engagements at the Apollo, Parker further developed his bebop style and also experimented with classical and other musical forms. Even after his death in 1955, he left a rich influence in the world of jazz and in music overall.

This Charlie Parker induction event, is only one of the many that the Apollo Theater holds throughout the year . As many may know, the Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign., created to extend the institution’s role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit the Apollo website.

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